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The Myth of the Moderate Catholic

Any Catholic who rejects Catholic teaching, or who technically accepts it but minimizes it to the point of insignificance, is not a “moderate” Catholic but a dissenter, or one seeking approval from the world (a temptation Our Lord warns against)—and should be identified as such. Continue Reading »

After the “G-word” has been spoken

In the early Church, witnesses to the faith who had been persecuted and tortured but not killed were known as “martyr-confessors.” It’s been one of the great privileges of my life to have known such men and women: Czech priests who spent years as slave laborers in uranium mines; Lithuanian . . . . Continue Reading »

World Christianity by the Numbers

The annual “Status of Global Christianity” survey published by the International Bulletin of Missionary Research is a cornucopia of numbers: Some are encouraging; others are discouraging; many of them are important for grasping the nature of this particular moment in Christian history. Continue Reading »

Evangelical Challenges for Vatican Diplomacy

The bilateral diplomacy of the Holy See is unique in world affairs, in that it has little or nothing to do with the things with which diplomats typically occupy their time: trade issues, security matters, visas. Rather, the reason why the Vatican engages in bilateral diplomacy is to secure the freedom of the Catholic Church to be itself in the countries with which the Holy See has, or wishes to have, diplomatic relations. To be sure, in crisis situations, the Holy See’s representative in a crumbling or violence-ridden state can also serve as an honest broker amidst contending local parties, or a voice for persecuted Catholic communities, or a channel for humanitarian assistance. But whatever the situation, the first task of the pope’s representative to another sovereignty is to help maintain free space for the Church’s evangelical, sacramental, educational and charitable missions, all of which are essential to what it means to be “the Catholic Church” in any human situation. Continue Reading »

Cuomo at Notre Dame, Thirty Years On

In his Washington Post column today, E.J. Dionne pays tribute to the late Mario Cuomo. It is right and fitting that he should do so, since what Cuomo was to politics, Dionne is to journalism: a man constantly reminding us he is Catholic while he counsels and supports the violation of central tenets of the faith, at least where one of those central tenets—the sanctity of life—is concerned. Continue Reading »

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